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Ale and the Vale Podcast


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Wow. That was actually very hard to listen to in the end. Still love Tom Pope and it left me feeling like professional football in general needs to think a lot harder about the mental health impacts on players and how to support them better - their careers and futures are relatively unpredictable and things come to a full stop so quickly. Tom is absolutely gutted and angry about how things have gone and it is easy to understand how he feels.

I am certain that there is another side to all of the stories that Tom told as there are a lot of contradictions in what he has said, particularly about his exit and I can see lots of reasons why it ended how it did - the new manager would have had a completely different perspective on things (Team underperforming, Tom underperforming / unfit (he said himself that he was drinking a lot at the end under Askey),he is a big old school character, recent suspensions due to twitter, his general attitude probably wasn't a fit with the 'professional' approach that is so important to DC)

Vale fans should be pleased that we had a goalscorer as good as Tom to get us out of the mire as much as he did and sad that he feels this way at the end of his career.

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17 minutes ago, mr.hobblesworth said:

He's fond of criticising fellow pros, isn't he?

Yeah - that was one of the contradictions for me, he was keen to point out that he was a really supportive and positive influence to have on the team in the difficult times, and how he would approach things with an arm around the shoulder - yet he couldn't help but put the boot in on others (Richie Bennett in particular, who he said that he got on with) and pretty much said that he downed tools under Askey at the point when Vale probably needed him to be a positive influence about the place the most.

I don't know how I would be acting in the circumstances and I'm not slating him here, but I think that he is talking emotionally and things are a bit too raw at the moment so he is looking at things with a very particular perspective -  he has been going through a very difficult time and everyone deals with things differently.

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He has a very blinkered opinion of a few players that saw Port Vale flirt with relegation to non league on more than one occasion. There was a lot of dead wood and their moves since Port Vale suggest the decisions made in the summer were correct. We knew that before though, as we had to watch it.

I live Pope the player and what he did for Vale, but it was time to move on.

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I get the impression a lot of people have no idea how brutal football is behind the scenes in terms of how people are spoken about. It is ruthless . How Tom is talking here is exactly the kind of stuff that goes on in dressing rooms and on the training pitch between players. You have to be mentally strong to make it in the game to deal with everything that’s thrown at you from all angles, all sets of fans, your own teammates, your own management. 

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A legend and deserves to be remembered as such. He has the right to have his say, but very important not to take every word as gospel, especially when he readily admits the animosity he holds for some at the club. This is a perspective he holds, probably coloured by the personal hurt he feels having been discarded.

Thanks for everything Tom. It's my view that it was fundamentally the right time for us to move on and I hope support for him is forthcoming if he is struggling to accept it and move on too.

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Having listened to the Tom Pope podcast, my curiosity has prompted me to google, "people who refer to themselves in the 3rd person". I now know he is an illeist and falls in good company with Dwayne"The Rock" Johnson, Pele and Donald J Trump. UTV

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4 hours ago, Jacko51 said:

I haven’t listened to the podcast so I won’t comment on what Tom Pope has said. Does he mention that he had dragged the club’s name through the mud with his stupidity on social media?  Did he mention that the club spent a fortune on legal fees supporting him during his last social media issue?  Did he mention that he refused to take the advice of those legal people in his response to the case?  He reckons he has the right to free speech - well so do the rest of us and I reckon that it is a shame in view of everything he did on the pitch for the club he is now behaving like a spoilt kid off it. 

I have also not listened yet so won’t comment until I have, but his twitter escapades were a disgrace. 

I was at university at the time of his anti-Semitic tweets, and my tutor group was aware I was a Vale fan as I used to discuss football with a couple. Two of the people in my tutor group were Jewish, and both of them remarked to me about Pope’s comments. One was a Spurs fan from London, and the other didn’t even watch football - neither were from Stoke. But it made national news. So people who wouldn’t know anything about Vale had heard the rubbish he was spouting on twitter, and I was ashamed to hear them mention it.

Love Tom Pope the player, but after that incident, I’ve really not thought much of him as a person to say the least.

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It’s a great interview, some great stuff he talks about which is an eye opener; things like Smurf and getting bonuses, love the bit about Griff slapping Jake Robinson in the tunnel against Shrewsbury to rough him up! Brilliant that.

The obvious bits that are talked about are interesting, seems Askey wasn’t great with him and rumours were abound that was the case at the time.

In fairness on a forum I go on Swindon fans mention Flitcroft and his use of words to try and hook you, he is kind of like those motivational sales trainers you get but clear there’s something bubbling there between the two.

On the Clarke stuff, he didn’t give him much game time and if he had agreed to give him games and didn’t then it is poor from them, another player who messaged after I posted a farewell message (and assume it was sent to all fans on Twitter who wished him well) did mention he was led to believe he would be staying and was let go so does sound like it was a bit poorly handled at the end. Montano as well didn’t want to be here under him Pope mentions and he’s played under him before.

It’s a painful listen, some great memories and an unpleasant ending, obviously Covid took away the farewell he deserved with the fans but think he just wants to be told the truth and felt he wasn’t under the last two management teams.

Interesting to see what happens in terms of his predictions on the current squad, he makes some valid points, some I felt were harsh but overall you could feel the pain in his voice and regardless of what went on, how true it is or not what he’s said it’s really heart wrenching that he feels that way now after being arguably our only “legend” on the 21st century so far.

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36 minutes ago, mr.hobblesworth said:

I found the image of Pope logging on to iFollow to watch the Tranmere game

So? Maybe he wants to follow the Vale? As a fan. As I do.  What is the problem?

Edited by toyahw
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